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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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29 December 2019 Venue JobServe Community Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Reports

U's Draw With Exeter

2019 ends with 2-2 stalemate

29 December 2019

Colchester United have drawn 2-2 with Exeter City

It was an entertaining game to finish the year, with four goals shared between the teams, and injuries and a sending-off for the U's.

Taylor put the visitors ahead, before Harry Pell replied with a header before half-time.

Theo Robinson made it 2-1, but the scores were level again when Bowman scored from the spot after Tom Lapslie was penalised and sent off.

Despite being a man down, the U's finished the stronger, and Pell put a late shot over when he really should have wrapped it up for the U's.

The U’s named an unchanged starting eleven and bench from the side that won 3-1 away at Leyton Orient on Boxing Day.

Both teams were quick out of the starting blocks with chances in the opening few minutes.

With just forty seconds on the clock, Callum Harriott had forced a save out of Jonny Maxted. His effort from twenty yards out sent the Exeter keeper scrambling across goal to push the effort wide and out of danger.

In the sixth minute, Dean Gerken was forced into a save to prevent the away side from taking the lead, as he stooped down low to beat away a Ben Seymour volley from six yards.

It was the away side who got the first goal of the game, coming through their captain Jake Taylor. A deflected Collins effort fell kindly for Taylor, who controlled and shot across Gerken and into the corner of the net from a tight angle.

Pell got up highest to head in the U’s equaliser. It was Pell’s second goal in two game, coming from a Harriott corner. Callum whipped the ball in, and Pell beat Seymour to the ball and guided it beyond Maxted to level the scores.

Cohen Bramall was on the receiving end of an awful tackle from William, a challenge which eventually ended the left back’s day as he had to come off midway through the first half, being replaced by Tom Lapslie.

Exeter went closest next, with a Randell Williams free kick. From a tight angle on the right wing, he lofted the ball over the U’s two-man wall before it crashed against the bar and was cleared by Ryan Jackson at the far post.

The two teams went into the break at 1-1 after an even first half.

The U’s came out in the second half much the better side and looking like they were going to get a goal.

Pell tried his luck with an audacious volley that looped on to the roof of the net three minutes into the second half. Robinson went even closer four minutes later, with a header that skimmed the outside of the post on its way out for a goal kick.

It was Robinson who did eventually get the break to give the U's the lead.

Netting for the third time in two games, he benefitted from a deflected Pell effort that fell to his feet. Still with a lot of work to do, he controlled the ball before striking low, under Maxted and into the back of the net after a small deflection off Tom Parkes.

Exeter went close a couple of times ten minutes after falling behind, as they brought on the lively Ryan Bowman for Lee Martin.

Gerken was alert to dive at the feet of Bowman before the away striker could get a shot away, before saving well from the substitute’s header a minute later.

Exeter did eventually get back on level terms in controversial fashion.

Harriott attempted a clearance against an Exeter player, but only ended by playing Bowman in through the middle. Lapslie leaned on the Exeter forward who went down very easily as he got into the penalty area, with the referee deeming this a straight red card offence and awarding the away side a penalty.

Bowman stepped up himself to send Gerken the wrong way and level the scores up at 2-2.

With fifteen minutes left to play, it looked as though the ten-man U’s would be the side to take all three points.

Tom Eastman attempted to put the U's back in front as he volleyed from inside the area but could only find the South stand behind the goal.

Pell had a golden chance to almost guarantee all three points for the U’s as Robinson picked out the central midfielder on the penalty spot.

Robinson had worked well and taken three Exeter players out of the game with a neat piece of skill, but Pell couldn’t keep his shot down and blazed over the bar.

Winger Harriott gave one final push to put the U’s back in front with a curling effort from thirty yards out but could only find the roof of the net.

The game finished at 2-2, with the U's earning what could prove to be a valuable point come the end of the season. 

The result pushed the U’s down to sixth in the league in a tightly contested top seven, although they are now unbeaten in nine league games.

Up next for the U's, it is fifteenth placed Crawley Town who visit the JobServe Community Stadium on New Years Day.

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